Dr Sithamparanathan’s near 100% accurate battery-free real-time RFID location tracking systems are already being used by several NHS trusts, the largest aircraft manufacturers, airlines and blue-chip retailers, globally.
RFID systems use electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and locate tags and the objects they are attached to. The tags each carry a unique identity and are passive, obtaining their energy from the electromagnetic fields and, therefore, need no batteries or other power source. Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan’s ground-breaking research work achieves a 99%+ accuracy with up to 20-metre detection range, compared to that of the industry standard of 80% accuracy with a two-metre range.
Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan (BEng (Hons), MPhil, PhD, FREng, FIET) was born and educated in Sri Lanka where studies of physics, maths and chemistry fostered a love of technology and their applications in engineering. He came to the UK to study Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield on a scholarship, winning a Sir William Siemens Medal whilst there. Following a stint as a student electronic engineer at tech titan ARM, Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan began a PhD in 2007, under the supervision of Professor Ian White, in the Department of Engineering of the University of Cambridge and at Corpus Christi College, inventing and developing the world’s most accurate passive ultra-high-frequency (UHF) Radio-frequency identification (RFID) location tracking system that would significantly increase the range and accuracy of passive RFID tag systems.
Dr Sithamparanathan’s company, PervasID, was established to commercialise his innovations and further research. He was elected to a Research Fellow at Girton College Cambridge in 2011. An entrepreneur at heart, and able to successfully blend academia with commercial viability (a rare combination) Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan pursued funding and mentoring from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme to spin his innovations out of the university lab and into a commercial endeavour in 2011. As Founder & President of PervasID, he successfully grew his company into a multimillion-dollar global enterprise raising more than $10 million in investment and launching superior products that are transforming retail, healthcare and aerospace industries.
Dr Sithamparanathan’s technology has already been adopted by major retailers, globally, enhancing retail inventory management by accurately tracking goods in retail stores. Integrated with third-party stock management applications giving retailers a graphical map interface showing the location and movement of all tagged goods, the solution improves sales, customer satisfaction, and prevents losses by offering real-time visibility, timely restocking, efficient in-store fulfilment, enhanced click-and-collect and online order services. PervasID signed an exclusive strategic partnership with SML for this sector.
In manufacturing, Stanley Black & Decker use the tags to track supplies from their tool cabinets used by aircraft manufacturers. Each cabinet contains over 1,000 tools, and it can result in serious safety incidents if any are left inside an aircraft. It is estimated that Foreign Object Debris (FOD) costs the aviation industry $13 Billion per year in direct and indirect costs, including flight delays, plane changes and fuel inefficiencies. In healthcare, PervasID solutions are being deployed in NHS hospitals including Guy’s and St Thomas’ for tracking surgical instruments to enhance the decontamination and sterilisation processes, and for tracking hospital assets to ensure that mission critical medical devices are available at the right place and time for robust and efficient care. The need for this level of traceability of medical devices has been particularly evident in the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution is predicted to save billions of pounds for NHS hospitals and will save lives.
In conjunction with growing PervasID, Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan has been advocating for the industry through thought leadership and speaking appearances. He was elected to Enterprise Fellow at Girton College Cambridge in 2022 and is passionate about mentoring students to discover entrepreneurship and develop the key skills needed to commercialise their research discoveries. He is a passionate ambassador for STEM education in schools, both in the UK and his home country of Sri Lanka.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been recognised in the New Year’s Honour list; this is a great honour and testament to the hard work and innovation of the entire team at PervasID,” said Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, Founder & President of PervasID. “Our products offer a national and international benefit and we will continue to pioneer technology that has a wider value to society as a whole.”
Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan has been awarded numerous accolades including the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Entrepreneurs Award, Young Engineer of the Year and Silver Medal, The UK ICT Pioneer of Connected World Award, Sir George Macfarlane Medal as well as a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation. He was also elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as well as named in Business Elite’s “40 Under 40” in 2023.